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Research Report

Testing the influence of radio programs on climate change knowledge: A pilot experience from the Congo Basin

Alba Saray Perez-Teran
Anne Marie Tiani
Merline Touko-Tchoko
Bérenger Tchatchou
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Pages: 26
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-vi)

    Climate Change and Forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation (COBAM) is a project coordinated by CIFOR since 2010, in the framework of PACEBCo, the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) program funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). COBAM is an action research project that intends to develop an appropriate response to climate change vulnerability in the Congo Basin landscapes by providing policy makers, practitioners and local communities with the information, analysis and tools needed for designing and implementing policies and projects for adaptation to climate change and reduction of carbon emissions in forests, with equitable impacts...

  2. (pp. 1-1)

    There is common consensus that there is a deficiency of information on climate change and forests in the Congo Basin (Kengoum 2011; Tiani et al. 2014). Data and information at the international level are not easily accessible, and regional, national and local data are often insufficient. There is, therefore, an urgent need amongst stakeholders to coordinate research and develop an exchange platform for knowledge and information sharing on climate and the environment.

    Tchatchou et al. (2014) observe that climate change information in the Congo Basin is often transmitted through channels such as workshops that are generally adapted to suit government...

  3. (pp. 1-2)

    Weiss (1997) highlights the fact that program interventions are designed following a logic of impact and a series of assumptions. Changes toward a desired scenario occur in a series of steps that can be analyzed using different techniques (Figure 1). Knowledge has been recognized as an important element/step in societal transformations (Nutley et al. 2003).

    In this sense, research can be used to improve the practices conducted by different stakeholders, but it needs to be adapted in terms of the type of message, the quality of information, its relevance and the channel used for its transmission (Nutley et al. 2003)....

  4. (pp. 2-3)

    The project used several communication supports depending on the target audience. Radio was selected for the case of the local community. In the Congo Basin, with the scarcity of basic communication services such as electricity or the Internet, radio has become the most accessible means of spreading information because it is readily available, less expensive and requires fewer technical capacities.

    The overall objective of the radio program was to disseminate concepts, policies and practices related to climate change responses. More specifically, it intended to create a platform where the scientific community, policy makers, and national and local practitioners could exchange...

  5. (pp. 3-8)

    Radio programs were recorded at the national radio stations of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo based on their accessibility and their technical capacity. Broadcasting radio stations were selected based on their geographical coverage and audience numbers, their topics and specific demands coming from local radio stations. The programs were broadcast in Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    The site was selected on the basis of the local language, population size and accessibility. A sample of at least 60 inhabitants who could speak Lingala or Kituba was needed. The evaluation took...

  6. (pp. 8-13)

    Little updated data on radio resources exists for our countries of study. Nevertheless the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA 2004) estimated there were six AM, twenty-five FM and eight shortwave broadcast stations in 2002. In addition, the indicators below can give an approximation of the appropriateness of radio and local languages for communication purposes (see Tables 4, 5 and 6). The countries of the Congo Basin have little access to Internet resources, while a much bigger proportion of the population does use cellular telephones, which have integrated FM radios as a basic feature. The CIA estimated that 20.35 million radios existed...

  7. (pp. 13-14)

    Locatelli et al. (2010) highlight the role of the community as an important player in climate change responses. In this scenario, it is important to understand the particularities of communities in the region. The Congo Basin countries have not yet eliminated illiteracy (World Bank 2013), which continues to be particularly acute in rural areas. In addition, most rural inhabitants communicate using local languages (Lewis 2009), while much of the information regarding climate change circulates in English and French. On this basis, Nutley et al. (2003) underline that the characteristics for the medium used for knowledge transfer are just as important...

  8. (pp. 14-14)

    This paper covers the production, broadcast and evaluation of a series of radio programs in several languages of the Congo Basin that were designed for sensitization and capacity building on forest and climate change topics within the COBAM project. The results show an average increase of 22.3% on test scores in climate change and forest topics for an individual who listens once to one radio program. Changes in behavior were also noted for several boundary partners, including the media, government organizations and the general public, that contacted or collaborated with the team. In addition, the study highlights the importance of...